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Warburton 'left in limbo' by participation deal dispute

Warburton is in danger of missing the start of the PRO 12 season Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Wales captain Sam Warburton has been left in limbo in terms of his club rugby as the dispute between the WRU and regions continues.

Warburton signed a central contract with the WRU over the summer. But as the regions have a policy of not fielding centrally contracted players, he can't be selected for the Cardiff Blues until a new participation agreement has been struck between the regions and the WRU.

The Blues play Exeter in their penultimate pre-season friendly on Friday. Warburton has recovered from the shoulder injury that put him out of action last season, but the Blue have confirmed that they can't pick him.

Until the services agreement has been sorted we unfortunately can't pick Sam and so he won't be involved against Exeter.

I've been told by the region that, at the moment, he is unable to play for us. Until everything is signed and sealed that will be the case. As soon as it is done we will crack on.

– Paul John, Cardiff Blues attack coach

The ongoing dispute leaves Warburton in danger of missing the start of the PRO 12 competitive.

The Blues travel to Leicester on 29th August for their final friendly before their Guiness PRO 12 season begins against Zebre on 7th September.

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Owen Williams says thanks for messages of support

Injured Welsh rugby star Owen Williams took to Twitter this weekend to express his thanks to the many people who have wished him well.

The Wales and Blues centre suffered a significant injury to his cervical vertebrae and spinal cord, while playing in Singapore in June.

The 22-year-old posted a picture from hospital, with his pet dog Riley.

Cardiff Blues have launched a fundraising and awareness campaign to support Williams as he makes his recovery.

Read more: Cardiff Blues launch #StayStrongForOws campaign.

Williams moved to specialist spinal unit after injury

Owen Williams suffered a serious spinal injury while playing for the Blues in Singapore Credit: PA

Cardiff Blues and Wales centre Owen Williams has been moved to the Welsh Spinal Injuries and Neurological Rehabilitation Unit at Rookwood Hospital to continue his 'long-term recovery, the club has said.

Owen Williams returns home to Wales

Cardiff Blues have confirmed that Owen Williams has returned home to Wales following a serious injury playing in Singapore.

Owen Williams' family thanked well-wishers for "overwhelming messages of support" Credit: PA

Williams was flown back by air ambulance and is now being assessed and monitored at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

"Cardiff Blues and the Williams family would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all the staff and specialists at Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore for their care and support for Owen following his injury", a spokesperson said.

They also thanked well-wishers for "overwhelming messages of support".

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Warburton 'has fingers crossed' for injured Williams

Wales captain Sam Warburton told ITV News that "everyone is devastated" at the news of Cardiff Blues teammate Owen Williams' injury.

The region confirmed today that the 22-year-old centre suffered "a significant injury to his cervical vertebrae and spinal cord" playing in the World Cup 10s in Singapore on Sunday.

Warburton said: "We're absolutely gutted for him and his family. All of us are keeping our fingers crossed - and hopefully he comes back home safe and sound."

Owen Williams has suffered 'significant spinal injury'

Cardiff Blues have confirmed that centre Owen Williams has suffered a "significant injury to his cervical vertebrae and spinal cord."

The 22-year-old, who has played four times for Wales, was injured playing for Cardiff Blues at the World Cup 10s on Sunday.

The region said that he underwent an operation on Monday to stabilise a fracture and is currently recovering in hospital in Singapore.

Owen Williams has impressed for Cardiff Blues in recent seasons. Credit: PA

His family and Blues staff are with him in hospital, and arrangements are now being made to arrange his safe transfer home "at an appropriate time."

The region and Williams' family have also thanked hundreds of people who have offered messages of support.

Owen Williams' brother thanks well-wishers after injury

Owen Williams' brother has tweeted his thanks to those offering messages of support, after the 22-year-old Cardiff Blues and Wales centre was injured in Singapore.

Williams' family flew out to be by his side in hospital, after he sustained what is thought to be a serious neck injuries playing in the World Club 10s on Sunday.

Hundreds of messages of support have come in from Wales, and also rugby stars like Australia's David Pocock.

Few details on Owen Williams' injury in Singapore

Very little is known about the nature or extent of Owen Williams' injury, sustained whilst playing for Cardiff Blues against Asia Pacific Dragons in the World Club 10s on Sunday.

The Blues released a statement yesterday, saying: "Owen Williams is to remain in hospital in Singapore after sustaining an injury at the World Club 10s. Cardiff Blues will issue further updates when they are available."

Williams has four caps for Wales - and scored his first international try against Tonga last autumn. Credit: PA

Blues teammate Macauley Cook also tweeted yesterday to say he was at the hospital with Williams, waiting for his family to arrive.

The WRU said 22-year-old Williams has not travelled home with the rest of the Blues squad.

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